- Rebecca Marshall
The Otter Trail - South Africa : Part 2
Day 3 - Scott Hut to Oakhurst Hut - 7.7km
Todays hike was mind blowingly beautiful. The temperature was perfect and fluffy white clouds floated across a stunning South African sky. We were all hiking at different paces now, so split in to 3 groups. The Trooper and the bombshell leading the platoon, The Angelic One and The Water boy in the middle, then myself, The Doctor, The Machine and The Sassy Pilot were hiking last.
Not long into the trek we came on a long ascent down into a breath taking 'valley' of white sand and beach. If you looked left you saw the turquoise ocean, and if you looked right you saw a 'sand spit' and a fresh water estuary. I had never seen this before and found it quite special. We all stopped here for a dip in the water and to just take in this incredible place.
As you can see above, this opening in the mountains really put it all in perspective. It made you see how small we were on this amazing wonderful planet, and how raw this trail really is, having this beautiful place, all to ourselves!
Overall the hike felt good today. Our packs were noticeably lighter after consuming all our beer on the first night and using up two days worth of food. I did realise it would have been way more weight efficient if we had used sachets of food rather than tins…It was a good learning curve for next time.
After about half an hour chilling out (and snacking) at the beach in the valley, we put our gear back on and ascended up through the trees. Quite a lot of today was open so you saw the ocean throughout a lot of the walk which was super nice. As soon as we ascended a bit, we noticed a crystal clear rock pool…smiles graced everyones faces as we all looked at one another like excited children who had seen some sweeties!
The Doctor and I wondered if The Water Boy had seen this little slice of precious, and as soon as we got closer we realised he was already de-kitted and swimming in it whilst The Angelic one looked on. Our ‘group’ came racing down to meet them, and all of a sudden, we were all in star fishing, swimming and generally loving life! No one could wipe the smiles off of their faces. This was a precious moment, a memory to savour, a feeling of elation and cloud 9.
The view over Oakhurst huts was awesome because you could see them dotted along the coastline in the distance way before you reached them. We stopped and smiled again, excited to get there, get showered and enjoy some food and time with friends.
There are very unusual rock formations at this stop, super unusual all along the shore. Everyone took their little gas hobs and cooked and ate sitting out on the rocks watching the sunset over the sea. It was simply magical, all you could hear were the waves coming in and a lone seal playing around in front of us in the water. The sky went a range of orange and pinks - kissing the mountains as it slowly disappeared behind a still ocean.
The Angelic One, The Water Boy, The Doctor and myself pull our mattresses out to the balcony of the hut and bonded some more watching the stars. Its amazing how clear and bright they are when you are that far away from civilisation. Every now and then someone would see a shooting star, but another would miss it, and one more would be seen and someone else would miss it.
The sky alone was an epic part of day 3.